Nigel Slater’s Middle Eastern food adventure concludes by visiting a country shrouded in mystery and often in the headlines – Iran. Here Nigel sets out to discover the secrets of Persian food, one of the oldest and most influential cuisines in the world.
He begins his journey in the bustling capital Tehran, where he is invited into the homes of people who cook dishes that have been handed through the generations. He is taken to lunch at his taxi driver’s house to sample dizi, an Iranian favourite for hundreds of years and possibly the nation’s most popular dish.
From here, Nigel ventures north to the shores of the Caspian Sea to meet fishermen who once fished for the famous beluga caviar but who now have to find other income sources since sturgeon stocks have declined. Nigel also explores the varied landscape and harvests pomegranates and saffron, two ingredients that epitomise Middle Eastern cuisine. Finally, Nigel returns to Tehran to explore its culinary future. Shopping malls and fast food outlets are booming in the city but somehow the dishes of the past still have a place in the heart and culture of the people.
Nigel Slater’s Middle East – Iran – food adventure dishes:
1. Stuffed aubergine with feta and pomegranate
The pomegranate molasses is the secret to this delightful roast aubergine and feta vegetarian recipe. An effortless supper dish.
2. Persian noodle soup
Herbs, pulses, noodles, spinach and soured cream combine in this Iranian comfort food dish, topped with deeply caramelised onions.
3. Saffron crème caramel
Saffron and cardamom infuse the custard to make this delicious Iranian dessert.